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Two Sets of Gold Lacquered Peach-Shaped Boxes with Landscape and Architecture

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Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Medium: Wood

The peach-shaped outer case is coated with gold lacquer and inscribed with gold-traced characters. It is also furnished with a base of similar shape, decorated with gold-traced floral motifs against a gold-sprinkled red lacquer ground supported on cloud-head shaped feet. The red and gilt palette of the interior and exterior of the case suggest resplendence and festivity. The upper surface of the lid is decorated with a landscape, architecture, and sailing boats. The vertical sides are adorned with bats, a stylised form of the character for ten-thousand (wan), and longevity characters (shou). Inside the case is a tray holding four small peach-shaped boxes with lids respectively inscribed with a different character, highlighted with gold foil, to make up the phrase Boundless Longevity (Wanshou wujiang). This set of peach-shaped boxes was typically related with birthday celebration. Its overall design and decorative motifs symbolise a nation with beautiful landscapes; endless longevity and immense wealth, nobility and honour. 

Website version edited by Zhuang Ying and Adam J. Ensign

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